What Is a French Roast Coffee?

What Is a French Roast?

French Roast Coffee Explained

Coffee can be available dark roasts, medium roasts, and light roasts. The color of the beans after they have been roasted is the distinguishing factor of the “French Roast.” French roast beans are chocolate dark. The darkness of the coffee beans is at the end of the scale. This roasting style originated way back in the 1800s.

There were different coffee roasting traditions across Europe in the 19th century. Espresso, the Italian roast was dark, but not like the French roast. Vienna roast was among the best coffees served, but lighter than Italian roast. That made the French roast remain outstanding as the darkest roast of all. Beans of any origin in the world can be roasted into a French roast.

How to Heat Coffee Beans to Make French Roast

The color of French beans roast can best be compared to chocolate. These beans are pretty dark than all others. The Coffee Association of America uses the “Agtron Gourmet Scale” to categorize the roast of coffee beans. Scale 25 for the darkest and scale 95 for the lightest.

French roast coffee beans are heated to achieve a scale of 28-35. If you brew French coffee at home, look out for the second crack because it indicates you have achieved a French roast. Heat at temperatures of 464F until you see the tale sheen of oil on the beans.

 french roast

How does French Roast Coffee Taste?

People roast coffee beans to achieve different tastes from the coffee they brew. However, some similarities never miss out. French roast beans will bring oils to their surface. The coffee itself will have an enticing smoky taste.

The roasting process can feature elements like citrus or berry aromas. The origin of the coffee berries usually brings the difference. Indonesian French roasts will have an earthy taste and an even dark color.

French Roasts vs. Dark Roasts

The best way to learn the difference between dark roasts and French roasts is through experience. You can perfect your skills by buying different kinds of beans, observing their distinguishing qualities and making notes. That is because we can have Italian roasts that are oilier than French roast. 

French Roast Facts

This heavyweight coffee can be made easily, just like ordinary coffee. Your roast must achieve an earthy, roasted, smoky flavor. However, darkening the beans too much weakens the caffeine levels.

You can also buy coffee roasts from recognized brands in the market. Try Koffee Kult that packages the premium quality French roasts from Brazil and Colombia.



Another recommended product is the kick-ass from Kicking Horse.

kicking horse french roast



Should You Avoid French Roast Coffee?

Not every coffee drinker loves the smoky flavor and dark color of French roasts. Look out for the following signs and learn the problems they indicate:

  • French roast beans tend to lose freshness faster than lighter roasts. Oils on the roast turn into rancid acid more quickly hence making the coffee taste bad. Buy coffee to last you about a week or use a top-notch coffee container.
  • Many beans sold are usually of inferior quality and only use the dark color to mask the poor quality. Buy your coffee beans from a quality roaster to avoid that.
  • Roasting inferior beans are exploitation to the growers and enhance practices that are not environmentally stable. Buy Fair Trade Coffee that brings equity between farmers and roasters.
  • The dark roast coffee tastes bitter to some people. That is from carbonization of fibers in coffee. Grind your coffee to extract sweeter flavors or use a French press to achieve coarsely ground coffee.

If you are looking for the smoky taste and darkest taste, do not limit yourself from precautions that hinder you from achieving a tasty cup of coffee.


Is Turkish Coffee Same as French Roast?

French roast is not similar to Turkish coffee. French roast is more focused on the roast level, while Turkish coffee is more of the preparation method. However, you can finely grind French beans and cook it in water and sugar to make Turkish coffee.

Is French Coffee Roast Strong?

The flavor, color, and smoky taste in a French roast are very strong. However, roasting the beans to achieve the dark color lowers the caffeine levels in your cup. Excess roasting lowers the weight of the beans. A regular cup of French roast coffee requires more beans than when preparing light roast coffee. It has caffeine levels same as light roast coffee.

“First Crack” in Coffee Roasting.

When you heat coffee at 196 degree Celsius, you are going to hear the “first crack” sound. At 225 degree Celsius, you are going to hear the second crack. It means that your French roast is ready.


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